[The following points were discussed as Chair of the panel "Interventions with members of extremist movements: The state of the art" at the annual meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association, Baltimore, MD, 24 March 2000. Other panelists consisted of Dr. Linda Dubrow, David Clark, and Steven Hassan, M.Ed.]
Summary of Major Findings on "Deprogramming"

Steve K. D. Eichel, Ph.D., ABPP

The deprogramming of Ken Butler was primarily a cognitive and social-affiliative intervention within a specific form of extended, intensive conversation. There were some notable changes in content and group process over time. These changes and shifts suggested that Ken's deprogramming had different modalities as well as phases. The information conveyed and eventually accepted, along with the strong trust, rapport and affiliative bonds developed between the deprogrammers and the cultist, combined to produce a dramatic change in Ken.

Summary of conversation analysis

For deprogrammers, the beginning stage was marked primarily by (in order of proportional representation): giving information, questioning, agreeing and self-disclosing. For the cultist, the beginning was marked by self-disclosing, questioning, giving information and citing doctrine.

For deprogrammers, the middle stage (the snap) was marked primarily by giving information, self-disclosing, agreeing, and questioning. For the cultist, the middle phase was marked by giving information, self-disclosing, citing doctrine and questioning.

For the deprogrammers, the end stage was marked primarily by giving information, self-disclosing, agreeing and citing doctrine. For the cultist, it was marked primarily by giving information, citing doctrine, self-disclosing and agreeing.

The cultist's level of participation increased from the Beginning to the Snap, and over the three time periods as a whole. He both produced more thoughts and accounted for a significantly greater proportion of the overall conversation over these time periods. This shift indicated an increment in Ken's active involvement in the deprogramming; it was also reflective of increased ideational activity (thinking).

The deprogrammers' level of participation remained fairly constant throughout the deprogramming. The deprogrammers were fairly consistent in their level of involvement and ideational productivity.
The cultist increased his level of information-giving and decreased his questioning from the Beginning to the Snap. Over all three time periods, he agreed more, cited doctrine more, and gave more information. Self disclosing and questioning decreased from Beginning to End. Again, these shifts suggested increased ideational activity.

The deprogrammers increased their self disclosing from the Snap to the End, and over all three time periods as a whole. Their level of information-giving decreased from Beginning to End.

The cultist's attention to cult-related material increased from Beginning to the Snap, and over the deprogramming as a whole. His degree off-cult focus did not change over time. His motility decreased overall during these three time periods. The increase in on-cult focus was related to Ken's increased critical thinking about ISKCON doctrine. The decreased motility was related to a shift in consciousness toward enhanced concentration.

All the participants in this deprogramming were more involved with exchanging information than any other aspect of conversation.

Summary of deprogramming process observations

Cognitive process. The cultist, Ken, entered the deprogramming with many suppressed doubts, some missing information, and some information that was present but was interpreted in an ISKCON context. Initially, the information presented to him had to do with the deprogramming process itself: what to expect, who the deprogrammers were, what they intended to do. In addition to having an affective impact (lowering his anxiety about the immediate situation), the manner in which this information was relayed contradicted ISKCON's statements about deprogrammers. On a social-affiliative level, this information served to decrease his anxiety and set the stage for growing trust. On a cognitive level, the immediate violation of Ken's expectations jarred his consciousness, and stimulated information processing (Kahnemann, 1973).

Information processing and persuasion

As expected, the primary focus of the deprogramming was on exchanging information both of an impersonal and a personal nature. The content of the conversation reflected my impression that the cognitive and social-affiliative realms were the ones in which I saw the greatest activity. The development and maintenance of interpersonal rapport seemed intimately connected with the effective communication of information relevant to the cult.

Taken all together, the deprogrammers appeared to employ a comprehensive persuasive strategy (Burgoon & Bettinghaus, 1980) in which they skillfully utilized: (a) objective evidence; (b) a familiar message structure (e.g., common familiarity with ISKCON philosophy terminology, and membership); (c) moderate emotionalism; (d) rewards; and (e) language of relative low intensity (with little confrontation).

Shifts in attention and consciousness. Ken's attention tended to be more stable toward the end of the deprogramming; as he stated, "flitting" tended to be his ideational (attentional) style while in the cult. I was correct to predict a change in attentional motility, although I predicted the wrong direction. However, this finding did not contradict the correlation between less motile attention (increased concentration) and higher levels of information analysis, as reported by Neisser (1967), Norman (1969) and Hochberg (1970). The overall increase over time in Ken's ideational activity also supported this interpretation: although they were not directly related, Ken demonstrated a trend toward improved concentration concurrent with his trend toward increased ideational activity (thought productivity).

The relationship between Ken's attentional motility and focus (target) was interesting. His decreased attentional motility (increased concentration) was correlated with the on-cult focus of the deprogrammer(s); since most of the ISKCON-related content offered by the deprogrammers disparaged the cult, this finding indicated increased concentration on critical material. However, Ken's ability to concentrate was significantly lessened (his motility increased) when his thoughts were focused on-cult. For Ken, ISKCON-related thoughts were in fact associated with the "flitting" ideational activity he perceived as associated with Krishna consciousness.

Ken's agreement to at least temporarily cease chanting his rounds was another significant event in this deprogramming's cognitive process. This action served to break the thought-stopping cycle, thereby removing the most active barrier to information processing. As an autohypnotic technique, chanting may have also contributed to Ken's "flitting" state of consciousness. By ceasing his daily "rounds," Ken facilitated a change in attentional motility and an increase in information processing, which thereby resulted in a shift in consciousness.

Utilization of dissonance : As predicted by deprogrammers I interviewed prior to Ken's deprogramming, Ken's deprogrammers tended to ask him to reflect on his precult life. Most deprogrammers and exit counselors have acknowledged the importance of focusing on the cultist's personal history during deconversion (Hassan, 1988). In Ken's deprogramming, these requests tended to come most often from Steven Eisenberg, whose background was most similar to Ken's. The request to reflect on the past served to generate tension and to reconnect Ken with his own internal fund of information that contradicted ISKCON. For example, after Ken admitted to having cheated someone out of his money, Steven asked him if "that [was] something you would have done before you got involved" with ISKCON. When Ken replied in the negative, Steven responded: "So that's something you picked up from hanging around Krishnas...how to con, to cheat." This question reminded Ken that he had violated his own ethical values (the ideals that led him to ISKCON in the first place), which generated a moderate level of anxiety, enhanced his listening and motivated him toward change. The statement that immediately followed also served to confirm Ken's suspicions that ISKCON utilized an inverted moral system. Thus, Steven's statement served to make internal information (previously stored and suppressed memories) more salient.

The role of suggestion : I noticed a tendency to ask Ken to verify certain pieces of critical information. In addition, it seemed important for the deprogrammers to present Ken with information he already knew, but was suppressing. To me, this tactic seemed to add weight to the validity of the deprogrammers' information and presented them as credible and honest individuals. As the deprogramming progressed, the amount of new information being presented to Ken seemed to increase; the acceptability of this new information was enhanced by its temporal association with past, more painstakingly verified information.

Some of the statements made by the deprogrammers seemed especially powerful; these tended to convey subtle suggestions for change. For example, at one point Mark stated that "I don't mean to be facetious, but I am being a little bit, because I think that it's like, you wanna...not you, but Krishnas...I hear the same raps all the time..." In stating "not you, but...Krishnas" Mark seemed to be subtly suggesting to Ken that he was not a Krishna. Subtle, embedded messages that distinguished between Ken and ISKCON devotees (thereby implying that the two identities were separate) occurred fairly often throughout the deprogramming.

Models of change

Cognitively, the deprogrammers very closely followed the model mapped out by Dennis: The deprogrammers began with a critical review of ISKCON's activities, comparing them to their claims. Concurrently, they critiqued Prabhupada and the Governing Body Commission, the council of gurus that formed the governing body of ISKCON after the swami's death. The second day was devoted to a more thorough critique of ISKCON doctrine as it was expressed and practiced by ISKCON leaderships and devotees. Ken renounced ISKCON that evening; the next day, the deprogrammers began the process of educating Ken about coercive persuasion.

Social-affiliative process. Like most individuals vulnerable to the social engineering that typifies destructive cults, Ken was responsive to his interpersonal setting. From the beginning, the deprogrammers treated him with honesty and acceptance, which was contrary to his expectations. Ken found it difficult (as did I) not to like the deprogrammers; they were informed, articulate, interesting, very witty and highly charismatic. Yet he had been told by ISKCON that deprogrammers were worthy only of hate; liking both deprogrammers and ISKCON leadership was inconsistent (Heider, 1958), generating an urge to restore some kind of affiliative balance (by rejecting ISKCON). The deprogrammers also immediately introduced the idea that they took issue with Ken's Krishna practices, but not with Ken as a person; they insisted on a demarcation between Ken's precult and cult identities, accepting the former while challenging the latter. This seemed to throw Ken off; he was expecting only to be attacked, and in fact had become accustomed to deeply personal attacks at the hands of his guru and other ISKCON leaders. The fact that Ken was already deeply involved with his own internal struggle between his precult and cult personalities was of considerable help to the deprogrammers; the deprogramming served to provide a powerful and ultimately deciding "push" toward intensifying this ongoing conflict and making the precult self-system more salient. By raising his anxiety moderately and facilitating self-examination, the deprogrammers enhanced Ken's need to affiliate (Festinger, 1954; Gerard & Rabbie, 1961). As the deprogramming progressed, team members continued to be generally accepting of Ken.

Violating expectations and counteracting social manipulation

As their behavior continued to violate Ken's preconceptions, the deprogrammers began to chip away at the motives and intentions of the ISKCON devotees (e.g., his guru) with whom Ken felt the most affiliation. A crucial phase in this process appeared to be when Mark and Dennis utilized Ken's own letters to his guru, along with the latter's replies. They made it clear that Ken's relationship with his guru was a perversion both of the father-son/teacher-student intimacy Ken was clearly missing in his life, and of his own stated desire for an egalitarian and spiritually-based love. Mark's quick introduction of Steven and later introduction of Debbie utilized an established affiliative pattern: We tend to affiliate fastest with others most like ourselves (Schachter, 1959). I observed the fastest and earliest bonding between Ken and Steven. They were from a similar social-cultural, religious and demographic background, were not too far apart in age, were both male (an important consideration with Krishnas) and, of course, Steven had been an ISKCON devotee. My analysis of individual deprogrammers' conversational style tended to support Steven's central role as a bridge between Ken and those deprogrammers to whom he was relatively dissimilar.

In general, I was surprised at how rarely the deprogrammers engaged in personal confrontations of Ken. Some of the anecdotal literature, including the more critical reviews (e.g., Barker, 1984; Beckford, 1985; Bromley, 1979; Bromley & Richardson, 1983; Levine, 1984) as well as friendly reports (e.g., Patrick & Dulack, 1976), suggested that confrontation played a central role in successful deprogrammings. Like the previous ones I had observed, Ken's deprogramming lacked strong personal confrontations.

Affiliative behavior can be increased by introducing moderate levels of anxiety (Gerard & Rabbie, 1961). Charlie spoke of the "management of tension" which involves a "very artful use of confrontation." The deprogramming generated a certain level of tension, and the cultist almost had to affiliate to obtain some relief. Charlie noted that "the most successful deprogrammers have a range...[they] use what's necessary" to generate moderate levels of anxiety. The use of guilt, however, was avoided. Instead, with Ken, the deprogrammers quickly sensed that Ken had many suppressed doubts, and they constantly referred back to these to generate tension.

Target of conversation and focus of group process. As a unique form of group process, Ken's deprogramming had two distinct modes differentiated by the target of conversation.

The "Formal Deprogramming" mode: Throughout the deprogramming, there seemed to be some clear differences in the group process. In the early deprogramming period (Days 1 and 2), the deprogramming was clearly focused on Ken, with most conversation flowing to and from Ken and the various deprogrammers present. During this period, there were very few "lapses" into smaller, concurrent and independent conversations. I have termed these periods the "Cultist-focused" (CF) or Formal Deprogramming mode.

The "Casual Deprogramming" mode: Later, as the deprogrammers became increasingly more convinced of Ken's decision to exit the cult, the deprogrammers loosened up and the conversation flowed more spontaneously. This loosening led to occasional subgroupings of dyads and triads that talked amongst themselves, which allowed for more one-to-one bonding.

Therapeutic relationship and counseling process. The goal of any deprogramming is change, on both cognitive and behavioral levels. All interactions between people involve influence and change, but therapeutic relationships differ from other interactions in discernable ways. Ken's deprogramming met the six criteria of therapeutic relationships as summarized by Marmor (1987):

Nature of the relationship : Ken's deprogramming was contingent upon the establishment of rapport. His relationship with the deprogrammers was (eventually) based on trust, empathy, and the belief that they would be supportive. As Rogers (1987) noted, decades of psychotherapy research has repeatedly demonstrated the importance of empathy as a change agent in therapeutic relationships, regardless of the therapist's school of thought. In contrast to casual relationships, Ken was not expected to return empathy and support to the deprogrammers.

Cognitive learning : A major goal of Ken's deprogramming was the imparting of new information specifically aimed at giving him "an intelligible, meaningful and rational framework for understanding why and how his problem developed" (Marmor, 1987, p. 269). A very significant portion of the deprogramming's content consisted of suppressed information about ISKCON, new information about totalism and theories of coercive persuasion. By virtue of their goal-directed questions and interpretations, the deprogrammers, like therapists, presented Ken with a cognitive framework: His cult conversion was covertly coerced.

Operant conditioning : Like all change-oriented interactions, some of Ken's behaviors were approved while others were disapproved. In this study, the amount of direct reinforcement (as measured by the incidences of the DSC codes "Agree" and "Disagree") was relatively minimal; however, the incidence of less direct reinforcement was substantially higher.

Modeling and identification : Social learning (the modeling of appropriate coping strategies) is an important facet of the therapeutic relationship. Psychoanalytically-oriented therapists use the term "identification" to describe the tendency of clients to begin to act, feel and think in ways that resemble their analysts. For Ken, self disclosure was one behavior that was repeatedly modeled. As the deprogramming progressed, Ken began to identify with his deprogrammers. Half-way through the deprogramming, he announced that he would be interested in becoming a deprogrammer himself. (He eventually did, for about a year.)

Suggestion and persuasion : Traditionally, counseling relationships tend to be less directive than therapy relationships; Ken's deprogramming involved a great deal of persuasion and suggestion. Although there were few overt directives (as measured by the DSC "Orienting" code), suggestions tended to be ever present in the background; when they were overt, they were often well-timed and highly incisive (as when Mark suggested that Ken forgo chanting) if sparse.
Rehearsal and repetition : In therapy, rehearsing and repeating new behaviors aimed at improved coping increase the likelihood that they will replace maladaptive behaviors and helps the client to be more confident. In Ken's deprogramming, the deprogrammers often repeated key themes (e.g., ISKCON corruption, comparisons between ISKCON and other totalistic movements) and the deprogrammee was continually encouraged to think (e.g., to view his ISKCON experiences from the deprogrammers' perspective), interpret, explain, view alternatives and reminisce (e.g., about his precult past).

Conclusions and Implications

What is deprogramming?

In Ken's case, deprogramming was characterized by three overlapping change processes: a counseling-like, therapeutic relationship (with social-affiliative, group and affective components); a cognitive process (with information-processing and consciousness components); and a communication process (with conversational or discourse factors).

Deprogramming as a therapeutic relationship. Ken's deprogramming satisfied most of the criteria used to define "counseling;" in its directiveness and use of persuasion and suggestion, however, Ken's deprogramming also resembled clinical psychotherapy, as it has been traditionally defined. As Blackham (1977, p. 11) noted, the aim of clinical psychotherapy has traditionally been personality change, whereas counseling "tries to help clients make choices." Clinical psychotherapists generally work with severe behavior problems, whereas counselors work with clients who are "experiencing educational, vocational, situational and developmental problems." In counseling, the duration of treatment tends to be shorter. Ken's deprogramming resembled counseling in its emphasis on resolving a situational problem and making a choice (exiting vs. remaining in ISKCON), and it was clearly of short duration. Yet clearly Ken's "problem" could be construed as a "severe behavior problem," although the deprogrammers' stated goal of reawakening Ken's precult personality did not constitute true "personality change."

The inauguration of Ken's deprogramming was contingent upon the deprogrammers establishing rapport with him; its ultimate success depended on their ability to maintain their empathic stance. As a distinctive form of counseling, Ken's deprogramming was also marked by cognitive learning, operant conditioning, modeling (identification), suggestion, persuasion, rehearsal and repetition. Consistent with Zeig's (1987) report of trends in the evolution of counseling and psychotherapy, Ken's deprogramming utilized humor, and it emphasized mobilizing resources (i.e., critical thinking skills) rather than uncovering pathology. It was client-specific (i.e., tailored to meet the needs of the client), results-oriented and specialized, using informed paraprofessionals.

As of this writing, most deprogrammers call themselves "exit counselors." The engagement of "exit counselors" who may have little or no formal graduate- or even college-level training (but who have themselves "recovered" from destructive cultism, and typically learn their craft by serving as "apprentices" to more experienced exit counselors) seems analogous to the use of former drug and alcohol addicts as "certified alcoholism counselors" (CACs). In the case of CACs, many state certifying agencies have multitiered certification processes that accept supervised experience (i.e., apprenticeship) in lieu of formal training.

Deprogramming as "snapping:" Altering states of consciousness. As I pointed out in Chapter II, deprogrammers believe their clients were unduly influenced when they became involved with cults. They employ theories of "mind control" to justify their actions. With the possible exception of Lifton's (1961) formulations, mind control models are based in varying degrees on the belief that cult indoctrination induces altered states of consciousness analogous to hypnosis. My own experience, together with my conversations with deprogrammers and review of the literature on cults, supported this concept.

There was a significant and quantifiable change in Ken's attentional motility. Several years after proposing that the cultic state of consciousness involves decreased motility, I discovered anecdotal evidence that, at least in the case of the ISKCON devotee, Krishna (cultic) consciousness may actually involve increased attentional motility in the form of ideational disorganization, "frenzy" and "flightiness." (Although Hubner & Gruson, 1988, concentrated on ISKCON's illegal activities and tended to portray the Krishna leadership and many devotees as criminals, they did on occasion describe the "frenzied" mentality of those who took their Krishna practices seriously.) In addition, Singer (1979, p. 79), in describing the tendency of her group therapy clients to "float" into and out of a state of altered (cultic) consciousness, noted that "we often see members float off [and] have difficulty concentrating." During his deprogramming, Ken made one very telling remark about his state of consciousness: He referred to his Krishna thinking style as "flitting." This statement was consistent with Singer's (1979) findings. As the deprogramming proceeded, Ken became more focused, and his attentional motility decreased. The correlation between Ken's decreased motility and the deprogrammers' increased focus on cult-related material indicated that his enhanced concentration was positively associated with critical thinking about this material.

In addition, Ken's increased productivity and involvement in the deprogramming implied increased ideational activity (thinking) in general. On the other hand, Ken's assessed level of "experiencing" increased during the snapping period, only to then decrease toward the end of the deprogramming.

Thus, my study has provided limited support for the hypothesis that Ken's deconversion involved an alteration of consciousness.

Deprogramming as discourse. As a group process, Ken's deprogramming was clearly change- and task-oriented (while in the Formal Deprogramming mode). Since it required specialized roles and had a clear agenda involving persuasion and change, it was more than a conversation. Yet my content and process analysis of this deprogramming suggests that it allowed for considerable spontaneity, self-disclosure and give-and-take on everyone's part. Hence, it contained many of the elements typically associated with casual conversation.

I believe my study supports a conceptualization of deprogramming, at least in Ken's case, as a specialized form of discourse involving three characteristics:

Deprogramming as persuasive conversation : As a group process, Ken's deprogramming had a clear and overt agenda: persuading Ken to re-evaluate and forsake his membership in ISKCON. The deprogrammers promised Ken that, if he gave them enough time (one week) to present his case, he would be able to make an informed choice about his membership in ISKCON. I have known Mark to make and keep this promise in other cases, even when the cultist decided to return to the group. Ken's deprogrammers would have clearly interpreted a return to ISKCON as a "failed" deprogramming, however. While allowing some choice, the deprogrammers' bias was clearly stated to Ken: A rational reappraisal of cult involvement inevitably leads to deconversion.

Deprogramming as teaching : The single most prevalent activity during this deprogramming was the imparting and discussion of three specialized content areas: facts about ISKCON, about destructive cults in general, and about "mind control." Therefore, Ken's deprogramming was an educational activity in which the deprogrammers served as instructors and Ken as an informed student.

Deprogramming as moral discourse : The nature of the information provided to Ken was heavily weighted, especially in the first two days of the deprogramming, toward: (a) debunking ISKCON philosophy by pointing out its inherent flaws and contradictions (even when compared with traditional Hinduism); (b) demonstrating that ISKCON leaders have intentionally distorted known fact and therefore invalidated Ken's "Search for Truth;" (c) providing clear and overwhelming evidence of wrong-doing and violation of self-proclaimed ethical standards; (d) demonstrating how ISKCON practices are anti-humanistic and therefore spiritually bankrupt; (e) providing a clear rationale for interpreting the behavior of ISKCON leadership as motivated by personal gain rather than altruism. Therefore, Ken's deprogramming was largely concerned with ethical, or moral discourse.


These three processes were both independent and interdependent, and can be viewed as comprising a three-dimensional model of deprogramming.

Communicative dimension. Ken's deprogramming could be characterized as a specialized form of persuasive conversation, with moral discourse, teaching and education being the primary conversational activities. The contents of this conversation primarily involved exchanging information and self-disclosing.

Cognitive dimension. Ken's deprogramming involved a change in consciousness, marked by a shift in attentional motility and increased ideational activity, especially at the time of greatest decision-making (the "Snap"). The "Snap" was also characterized by enhanced self-awareness and increased focus on integration of personal experiences (experiencing). Overall, Ken's deprogramming involved considerable intellectual activity (information processing).

Social-affiliative dimension. Ken's deprogramming involved a counseling-like therapeutic relationship with his deprogrammers, based foremost on the establishment of rapport and an interpersonal process based on empathy. As a small-group process, this deprogramming had two distinct modes: a formal, cultist-focused mode and a casual, subgroup-focused mode.

Deprogramming, coercive conversion and psychological "doubling. " How do otherwise intelligent, articulate, educated, and idealistic young people become fanatically devoted to a movement that, according to its critics, is the very antithesis of the idealism and humanism that inspired its members to seek it out in the first place?

Deprogrammers believe their activities are the antithesis of cultic "programming" and hypnotic-like states of consciousness. My investigation of deprogramming has provided some support for the theory that deprogramming involves altering consciousness. There was clearly an increase in Ken's ideational activity, and a shift in his ability to concentrate. There also was a discernable snapping event, which on a qualitative level involved a moment of intense decision-making and heightened realization, and on an quantitative level involved enhanced integration of self-awareness (experiencing).

Ken's spontaneous self-report during the deprogramming suggested that the snap was a "reintegration" event, a dramatic point when the two halves of Ken--his Krishna and his non-Krishna selves--came together and were reunited. Yet Ken's shift in consciousness seemed subtle. My findings seemed in need of a theoretical framework that might explain what occurred during Ken's deconversion in a more satisfying and complete manner. This framework would also need to shed light on the process of cultic conversion.

Doubling (Lifton, 1986) may be the process that Ken experienced during and following his "conversion;" his deprogramming seemed to be an "undoing" of that doubling. Doubling helps explain the violent and antisocial behaviors of many ISKCON leaders (Hubner & Gruson, 1988), and it seems to explain the relative ease with which Ken, who had been a law-abiding student prior to becoming a devotee, could commit crimes involving fraud and theft and condone even worse among his peers and gurus. Ken could commit fraud and "transcendental trickery" and his cult-self did not feel guilty because the nature of "right" and "wrong" had been redefined. In fact, doubling explains the irony of Ken's guilty feelings when he felt like walking on a beach rather than carrying out his leader's order to engage in fraud during sankirtan.

Lifton's theory of doubling in large part subsumes his earlier theory of thought reform, and it dovetails with dissociation theories (including the neodissociation theory of hypnosis).

In Ken's deprogramming, the barrier between the precult self and the cult "double" seemed to be removed, and the deprogrammee began to feel "normal" guilt (his apology to his mother is an example of the resurgence of normal guilt): His conscience was reclaimed by his "old" self. In this study, doubling also permits a reinterpretation of Ken's early denial of fraudulent activity (he later admitted to numerous "cons"). Was he in fact "lying" when he first denied committing fraud? Or was he telling the truth, as the conscience of his double understood the meaning of the "truth?"

ISKCON clearly distinguishes between the world of the non-devotee (maya, the "world of illusion") and the world of the devotee (Krishna consciousness); it also distinguishes between the spiritually advanced devotee and the spiritually bankrupt karmi. Moreover, ISKCON leaders have often explained to devotees that it is morally and spiritually acceptable to behave in less than "spiritual" ways in their dealings in maya, and with karmi. This "splitting" of the world and people into two distinct, polar opposites facilitates the doubling process.

Primary References

Dubrow-Eichel, S. (1989). Deprogramming: An investigation of change processes and shifts in attention and verbal interactions. Doctoral dissertation, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. See also:

Dubrow-Eichel, S. (1989). Deprogramming: A case study. Part I: Personal observations of the group process [Special issue]. Cultic Studies Journal, 6 (2).

Dubrow-Eichel, S. (1990). Deprogramming: A case study. Part II: Conversation analysis. Cultic Studies Journal, 7, 174-216.